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Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 26/03/97

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

Musical travesties

My dedicated ABBA fandom manifests itself in many ways. One of them is collecting cover versions of ABBA songs. As a result of this obsession, I own entire albums by Men Without Hats, the Nolans and Barbra Streisand that would not otherwise have entered my collection. On Monday, though, I stepped into uncharted and dangerous territory when I purchased the latest Fugees single, 'Rumble In The Jungle', on the basis of an ABBA connection.

Massive global success aside, I find the Fugees basically irrelevant to my life. The musical genre they work in is one that just does nothing for me, and so I tend to ignore them. I can admire the commercial genius behind their cover of 'Killing Me Softly', but that's about it. Sampling as the basis for composition just really isn't my scene.

Unless, of course, the sample is an ABBA song. This is actually rarer than you'd think, because sampling rights for ABBA are carefully policed (as the KLF learned some years ago when they sampled 'Dancing Queen'). In this instance, though, the Fugees (backed by A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes and Forte) actually do have permission, and, as a result, have basically built an entire song on top of the opening chords of 'The Name Of The Game', ABBA's sterling 1977 release that preceded The Album and makes a somewhat hysterical appearance during the dream sequence in ABBA: The Movie.

So what's the song like? Well, the sample's good. The rest does nothing for me, even though I now own it on CD, in three different versions. (One of these is an acapella mix and so doesn't have the sample; I find it utterly unlistenable, but like I said, this ain't my scene.) There's something vaguely depraved about owning a CD you don't even like just for a slight ABBA connection, but I don't suppose this'll be the last time it happens.

Speaking of offensive music, there's a lot of revolting cack in the charts at the moment, and not much of it is worse than 'I Finally Found Someone', the saccharine duet between Bryan Adams and Barbra Streisand (from the latter's flop film The Mirror Has Two Faces). I honestly thought that nothing could outdo the tuneless vomit pile of the original recording, but then I'd forgotten about Celine Dion. The singing French skeleton popped up on last night's Oscar broadcast, making a bad song even worse. At least it didn't win the gong.


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